A jury in a coroner's inquest into the deaths of three mentally ill Toronto residents who were shot by police recommends that police training puts more emphasis on verbal de-escalation techniques.
The recommendation is one of dozens the five-member jury issued today, and many are focused on police training when dealing with emotionally disturbed people carrying edged weapons.
The inquest heard that when an officer is faced with an individual advancing with a sharp object, their response is based on the person's behaviour and not their mental state.
The jury recommends training officers to take into account whether a person is in crisis and all relevant information about their condition, not just their behaviour, and refraining from shooting for as long as possible.
They also suggest police consider further use of in-car cameras, body armour that provides officers greater protection from edged weapons, body-worn camera technology for front-line officers and shields to disarm and control people with edged weapons.
The inquest has been examining the deaths of Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Sylvia Klibingaitis and Michael Eligon, who were all gunned down after approaching police with knives or scissors.